Italian Contemporary Film Festival: LOVE AND BULLETS (AMMORE ET MALAVITA) (Italy 2016) ***

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Love and Bullets Poster
In order to avoid the death of the husband (the criminal boss Don Vincenzo, “King of the Fish”), Donna Maria sends her henchmen to kill a lookalike (a shoe-seller) and then she sets up a …See full summary »

 

LOVE ND BULLETS is the Italian acclaimed crime musical comedy that won Italy’s  David di Donatello Awards Best Film Award this year.  It follows a Naples Camorra crime boss’ wife faking of her husband’s (The Fish King) death in order for them to live their rest of their lives comfortably without fear. 

 When the top henchman, Ciro falls in love with the nurse, Fatimah he is supposed to kill (as the nurse has seen the boss alive) the star-crossed lovers become the next targets.   The film both suffers and benefits from a weak narrative, unmemorable and catchy songs though one won the Italian film award for Best Song and campy performances all the way through.  One has got to love the most shameful plagiarized segment of the film where Fatimah sings the FLASHDANCE song (“What a Feeling”) with the film’s own Italian lyrics.

  Fatimah sings as if it was the best original song in the world.  One has to admit the Manetti Bros. (who wrote and directed the film) have balls, gall and spirit!  New characters pop up into the story every 15 minutes or so.  I hated the first 20 minutes of the film but fortunately did not give up on it as it got much better eventually becoming quite the crowd-pleaser.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HMd5SGOUyE

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Italian Contemporary Film Festival: A CASA TUTTI BENE (THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME)

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There Is No Place Like Home Poster
A big family that like any other one includes relatives that see each other often and others that rarely meet, reunite to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of grandma Alba and grandpa …See full summary »

Director:

Gabriele Muccino

The Italians are known to be hot-blooded people.  In A CASA TUTTI BENE (direct translation: At Home, Everyone is fine), a big Italian dysfunctional hot-blooded family celebrate a Golden Anniversary on an island.  Alba and Pietro have been married for 50 years.  They live on an island.  To celebrate, they invite their children, their wives,, ex-wives, children and other assorted relatives to attend.

  A recipe for disaster, especially when a storm brews and ferry services are cancelled with the dysfunctional family unable to leave the island.  Envies, jealousies, past loves surface.  At one point, even Pietro screams, when things get too out of hand: “When are they going to get off this fucking island?”  Though the setting sounds like a perfect comedy premise, there is more drama than laughs.  It takes a while for the audience to figure out who is who and who is related to whom and what each quarrel is about.  The film does not always work (the tacked on happy piano sequence), but when it does, the characters really grab you. 

One cannot help but feel sorry for some of them.  Everyone deserves to be happy .  But director Muccino deftly manoeuvres his film effectively with some good dramatic set-pieces.  His film seems to work as the film became number one at the Italian box-office two weeks in a row when it first opened.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Qi0dH6Frj8

 

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